Get to Know GEEZER

About GEEZER Butler


The longtime bassist for the groundbreaking heavy metal outfit Black Sabbath, Terence “Geezer” Butler was born July 17, 1949, in Birmingham, England. As a teen he formed his first band, Rare Breed, with schoolmate John “Ozzy” Osbourne. In the fall of 1968, the two reunited in the blues quartet Polka Tulk, which also featured guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Bill Ward. After briefly re-christening themselves Earth, Geezer suggested changing the name to Black Sabbath in early 1969. While Black Sabbath’s self-titled 1970 debut album laid the foundations for their deafening, sludgy hard rock attack, the follow-up Paranoid was their creative and commercial breakthrough, selling four-million copies in the U.S. alone on the strength of fan favorites like “War Pigs,” “Iron Man,” and the title track; Butler wrote the songs’ lyrics, drawing heavily upon his fascination with the black arts to explore recurring themes of death and destruction. 

Over the next couple decades, the lineup of Black Sabbath underwent several changes, with Geezer leaving the group briefly in 1979, but returning soon thereafter to join the group and it’s new front man, Ronnie James Dio. After a solo stint in 1984 with the “Geezer Butler Band”, Butler returned to Sabbath for 1992’s Dehumanizer and 1994’s Cross Purposes. Geezer released Plastic Planet in 1995 under his solo “G/Z/R”, followed by Black Science (1997) and Ohmwork (2005). 

Butler re-formed the Dehumanizer-era Black Sabbath line-up with Iommi, Dio and Vinnie Appice in 2006 as “Heaven & Hell”. The band performed together until 2009. 

In 2011, it was announced that Butler, Iommi and Osbourne were returning to the studio to record, “13” (2013), which would be their last studio album. The band embarked on their final tour, “The End”, and subsequently released a CD of the same name in 2016. The band performed their last show on February 4th, 2017 in Birmingham, where it had all begun almost 50 years before. 

After retiring from Black Sabbath, Butler took a short hiatus to travel and write. In 2018, Butler was approached by Matt Sorum of Guns N’ Roses and soon after, Butler joined “Deadland Ritual”, comprised of Sorum, Steve Stevens (Billy Idol) and Franky Perez (Apocalyptica). The band released their first song, “Down In Flames” in December 2018 and are set to kick off a tour in May 2019.

About GZR


Whether it’s spelled G//Z/R, Geezer, or just GZR, the band founded by Geezer Butler & Pedro Howse is known for a very heavy sound.

“I like recording an album while its still fresh, that way you can treat it like an exorcism of ideas and pull the feelings right out of your soul, because it’s only then that you’re truly capturing something real.

Key to this mantra of keeping things real is the notion that GZR only really functions as a band and not as a whimsical solo project. While GZR is clearly Butler’s baby, it’s also one being reared by two other equally enthusiastic parents (Howse and Brown).

“It’s good to come together and blast things out as a band!” laughs the bassist. “You can come up with as many song ideas as you like, but it’s only when you play as a real band that you realize what’s any good!”

The ideas behind the songs on “Ohmwork” will be familiar to seasoned Geezer watchers and Sabbath heads alike: bad things in life.

However, it’s not all global meltdowns and spiritual bigotry that GZR are focused upon. As razor-minded singer Clark Brown explains the album’s most stirring song, the uncomfortable ‘Alone’, sometimes it’s the people you know best that piss you off the most: ‘Alone’ is about the times I needed something, either a helping hand, or guidance or even just a kind word and pathetically enough, the ones I thought I could rely on were nowhere to be found.

Pedro Howse

Pedro Howse

Guitar

Born Peter Howse, in Aston, Birmingham , England, to Geezer’s sister, Maura. Immediately Christened Pedro, by Geezer, from a character in the TV show “Four Feather Falls”. Formed various metal bands in the late 1970’s/1980’s, most successful of which was “Crazy Angel”.

Was a founding member of the Geezer Butler band, in 1985, and has written and played in all versions of GZR/Geezer. Favourite all time guitarist is Tony Iommi. Likes Aston Villa, SG guitars, Marshall Amps, and boozing.

Chad Smith

Chad Smith

Drums

Chad began playing at 12 and by 14 was performing professionally. In 1985, he began working with Heaven’s Flame, in 1987 he was with Mary Burns, in 1990 with Anacrusis, in 1992 with London Calling, in 1994 with Pavlov’s Dog,

In 1997 he replaced Deen Castronovo in G//Z/R, who had moved on to Ozzy’s band, and then later Journey.

Chad’s playing is a combination of influences ranging from John Bonham and Tommy Aldridge to Clyde Stubblefield and Steve Gadd.

Chad Smith

Chad Smith

Drums

Clark Ernst Brown was born on American soil in a small, middle class neighborhood, in Worcester Massachusetts. He grew up in small home with parents Karla and Leo Brown and sister Jen. In this house you would often hear load sounds vibrating thru the floor from the basement. It was dad listening to his Black Sabbath Sabbath, Zeppelin, Deep Purple and other rock legends. Funny how things turn out. Was it destiny, is it luck, or was it fate that brought Clark to this point in his life? We think fate.

He also like long walks on the beach and sunsets. Go Red Sox.

Geezer Butler

Geezer Butler

Bass

Founding member of Black Sabbath and GZR. You can read more about Geezer further up on this page.

About HEAVEN AND HELL


Heaven & Hell’s journey began serendipitously in 2006, when Rhino asked the quartet to record a few new songs for The Dio Years, a collection spotlighting the Mob Rules lineup of Black Sabbath (Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Vinny Appice).

The impromptu get-together quickly proved the creative spark was still burning 14 years after the band’s last album. “Those songs came so easy that we decided we had to keep going,” Dio says. “Where it would lead was a question no one really asked at that point.”

The answer began to take shape in 2007, when the band launched a yearlong tour. Selling out concerts around the world, the trek included the band’s triumphant return to the U.S., where they played a show in New York City at Radio City Music Hall that was immortalized on a live CD/DVD.

They later released a studio album in 2009 entitled “The Devil You Know”, which brought the 1980’s Ronnie James Dio led Black Sabbath lineup (Iommi/Butler/Dio/Appice) back to the studio for new recordings.  A tour followed, but as the band was preparing for a tour in 2010, Ronnie sadly died of stomach cancer.

Heaven & Hell played one final concert as a tribute to their fallen comrade (with Glenn Hughes & Jorn Lande on vocals), and they released the album “Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven and Hell” as a final chapter in their recording career with Ronnie James Dio.

About DEADLAND RITUAL


Deadland Ritual is a band that spiritually was born in the desert where legendary drummer Matt Sorum lives these days. Drawing inspiration from the “ritual symbolism of the desert badlands” paired with his love of the idea of a “ritualistic forgotten space,” the name of the group felt appropriate for the darker tone of the music he was creating with iconic bassist Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath), guitarist Steve Stevens (Billy Idol) and lead singer Franky Perez (Apocalyptica, Scars on Broadway). 

Longtime friendships with Stevens and Perez helped to form the initial core of the lineup, but Sorum says that it was a pivotal moment when Butler agreed to join in. “Black Sabbath was my first band that I really fell in love with as a musician,” he says. “That was my entry point when I started coming up as a young drummer.” The bassist’s unmistakable tone is an important part of the foundation of the band’s sound. 

Calling himself “semi-retired,” Butler admits that there was a lot to think about when he got the invitation to join Deadland Ritual. “I had to get used to the idea of starting from scratch again, which is good. It’s a challenge for me,” he says. “But I really liked the music that I was hearing. It’s not your typical metal stuff or hard rock stuff or whatever.”

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